Zero-nine-eight yanked down on the stiff metal handle of the giant metal door; it didn’t budge.
She pulled down on it with all her weight, then she jumped up and pushed down on it. Nothing.
Almost out of energy, she tugged hard and pulled down again, her skinny arms stretched upward as she hung from it and her bum grazed the floor. It wasn’t giving even slightly.
She looked about with a mix of fear and anger on her face. She had been running around in a labyrinth of corridors for what felt like hours and her bare feet were so cold they hurt.
There was a keypad too high up to reach next to the door but she didn’t know what she could do about that anyway, they always used a different number on the one in her room.
Brick walls lined the long corridors of concrete floors. There were three different kinds of lights; Long fluorescent strips in the middle of the ceiling which were off at the moment, small tinted red round ones on the wall about two meters apart, which were also off – finally, small white rectangle ones evenly spaced between the red ones, which were on. Most of them didn’t work and there wasn’t a great deal of light, but Zero-nine-eight could see there were no vents, no holes, no spaces to hide in or crawl through.
As she was about to head back the way she came, the hall lit up with the red lights which seemed to be swirling, followed by a shrill siren which sounded three times and stopped.
They were back.
Zero-nine-eight fell down, startled. She scrambled herself backwards into the corner next to the metal door. There was a light beeping noise followed by heavy metal grinding noise from behind the it and she saw the handle move downward. Frozen in the corner, the door swung open, trapping her in the space behind it as it opened slowly until wall stopped it. For the moment she was shielded from the those coming through the it.
“Lieutenants, round up Zero-nine-zero through to Zero-nine-nine”, boomed a voice.
“Yessir, Commander”, came two more voices in unison.
“Take them to the ship, but be discreet. There are a lot of people about this time of day. Use the Trojan.”
“On it Sir”, and that was it; the bright white fluorescent strip lights came on in the ceiling and the red swirling lights stopped. She heard footsteps heading away before hearing the beeping noises again and the door began to move closed.
It swung slowly and she crept around following it. She peered around but it was completely black. As the gap became smaller she gulped and taking a big breath back, she went through.